I was excited! I was ready for take off to France! Well, I was ready, but these guys at the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, didn’t seem to know exactly, what to do with me at the check-in counter. A very kind lady tried to find out by phone, where I had to go, so I could board the airplane. “All right Vlou, all is well,” said the nice lady in her fancy uniform finally. “We bring you with the 4×4 of my colleague to the freight section of the airport and then it will be only a short while, till you will be boarding your flight to Lyon.”
There you go! High up on the back of the bakkie I had a great overview of the busy airport. Huge airplanes with bright colourful flags on their tails from all over the world, busses and cargo wagons with luggage rolled all over the place. Finally the car stopped and I was able to get off into a specialized cargo section for animals. It smelled of all kind of animals, even reptiles. Someone checked my papers and glanced at my transport box. “All is well – off you go!” he confirmed and stamped my passport.
I got into a truck with some other boxes. “Hey, look you little guys!” Excitedly I called out to three ridgeback puppies, which were maybe four months old. They were not yet able to talk yet, but they started to babble enthusiastically as soon as they saw me. “Oh, and there is a young lady dog also traveling on the same flight. Good to see you! Where are you going?” The juvenile, handsome lady gave me an unsecure smile. To be honest, I don’t know exactly. I’m born in Bloemfontain. All my siblings have been sold to America; only I’m going to Europe. They are very fond of us overseas as we are Basenji’s, a rare breed from the Congo,“ she added proudly. “Oh, Congo, never heard … where is that?” “That’s in the middle of Africa in the tropic Jungle,” she nodded smugly.
The time passed so quickly while we were busy talking, we didn’t even notice we’d already arrived in the belly of the airplane. “It’s kind of the same room as when I flew from Switzerland to France,” I stated. “Oh, you’ve been flying already once?” I told her my story about my travels in Southern Africa. She listened thrilled, till the airplane started to move all of a sudden. “Uh, I’m a bit scared to fly”, nervously she rocked back and forth in her cage. The ridgeback puppies fell quiet and looked anxiously through the iron bars of their box. “Don’t be afraid, guys. It’s fun! You’ll see. When the airplane starts, it will accelerate swiftly to a speed like a racing car and then the airstream will lift it up into the sky. It’s great. Don’t be scared.”
I was able to comfort them and also my new friend, the beautiful, stunning Basenji. She looked me over admiringly – well’ that’s what I figured and hoped, anyway. As the airplane speeded it tickled in the stomach and the puppies giggled loudly. It was so contagious that we had to join in and soon we rolled over not being able to stop laughing. Out of breath I asked my new friend: “Now, as we are about 30’000 feet in the air, I’d like to know your name.” “I’m Akatsky.” She lowered her long eyelashes and blushed. She looked gorgeous. I’d never seen such an athletic, wonderful body. Her fur shined reddish with a white spot on her chest, white tips on her nose, tail and white socks. We kept talking for a couple of hours till we fell a sleep. Of course I dreamt of Akatsky. We were running on the beach, fooling around, laughing and joking. I only woke up just before the airplane started its descent. I’d rather have stayed a bit longer to get to know Akatsky better. But on the other side – good to get down. I really had to pee!